Okay, ladies (or perhaps girls, as I can barely even apply to myself such a genteel term as “lady”), listen up, and listen good.. I have been the seventh grader circling above the upper half of the school four or five times trying to find the elusive science buildings that overlook the pool. I rode the 104 bus route down the windy roads of Sunset Blvd. with the best of them, and furtively parked on the once forbidden Arden with the worst. I speak the wisdom one can only gain from five years of tests, essays, and throngs of hungry girls tearing out each other’s hair for a free Chinese Chicken Salad – so you can trust me when I promise: IT GETS BETTER.
To understand my reason for assuring you of this fact, I must revisit the date of September 1, 2009: I had returned home from a flawless, one could almost say, heavenly, first day of senior year. Buzzing with the excitement of seeing all those so familiar faces, I logged on to my Facebook to see what my fellow Marlboroughnians had to say – and I was shocked. Every status I read sounded like a line from a Hamlet soliloquy: there were levels of abject despair in these lines that I had not seen in my entire seventeen years of life. And after I read a handful of these poetically tragic outcries, I found myself laughing. Not because I think the image of you writhing in agony on the floor of your English class over an in-class essay is amusing–no, it was because I suddenly remembered that feeling.
I remembered my junior self sitting in the back of Caswell with a dour expression, swearing my revenge upon the construction workers as they drilled their way into the now beautiful Munger Hall. I remember sitting in my living room at midnight weeping over a Chemistry Honors final, the grade of which is now utterly irrelevant. And I definitely remember sitting in pin ceremony, my knees aching from keeping them in that rigid “ladylike” position, wondering, “My God, when is this going to end?” And yes, at the time, every vexation seemed like a scene worthy of a tear jerking documentary. I often lay upon the field with friends during those dozens of slow, stewy April afternoons, as we exchanged half-dreamed plans of running away to the mountains and living some classically unconventional life, to escape the horrors of this soul-sucking establishment. I wish I could save myself some embarrassment in saying we weren’t serious, but I will not lie to readers – we were utterly oblivious to the absurdity of our conversations.
Now, as I recline upon the pillowy mounds of furniture in my senior lounge, I realize that, in all honesty, what seemed like the end of the world was really just the end of a day – and usually, the next one worked out just swimmingly. So, to juniors and seventh graders alike, I have one thing to say: suck it up, stick it out, and soon you’ll be laughing with the rest of us.